Amos (Ch 1-2)

The prophecy of Amos, in which the prophet thunders the warning of the impending judgement of God upon no less than eight nations, beginning with the ancient house of Israel, the northern kingdom; then Israel’s surrounding pagan neighbors, then resting for a moment upon the house of Judah, and by way of climax describing the prophetic utter ruin and devastation of the endtime house of Israel itself.

The prophecies in the Scriptures are written in codes; it was written to be made plain, yet it isn’t plain unless we could uncover certain codes. If it were written for ancient Israel it would have little or no relevance, but in brief, this book of Amos is a prophecy about the United States today, the most mighty nation of the earth with seven fleets plowing up and down the five oceans looking for an enemy for a fight, but when the opportunity comes, it flees like one Joseph of old in Egypt, and for a righteous reason, but in the endtimes, Joseph favourite son, Ephraim, flees like who is naked! The awful judgements, “rolling like a storm, in strophe after strophe, all over the surrounding kingdoms.” And then we are obliged to ask why?

Amos 1

1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. — the words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen, a man who owned and tended sheep, of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel, chiefly with regard to the northern kingdom, in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the second of that name, the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake, an event of some importance in the history of that century;

— Uzziah, king of Judah: 767–751 BC; the tenth king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah; Uzziah was 16 when he became king of Judah and reigned for 52 years. The first 24 years of his reign were as co-regent with his father, Amaziah;

— Jeroboam II (786–746 BC) was the son and successor of Jehoash (alternatively spelled Joash) and the thirteenth king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, over which he ruled for forty-one years in the eighth century BC. His reign was contemporary with those of Amaziah and Uzziah, kings of Judah.

And he said: “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.” — the Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; not from Samaria, nor from Dan and Bethel, but from Zion and Jerusalem, where the temple of the Lord stood; and out of the holy of holies in it, where was the seat of the divine Majesty;

— and his voice being compared to the roaring of a lion, denotes his wrath and vengeance; and is expressive of some terrible threatening prophecy he would send from hence, by one or other of his prophets; perhaps Amos may mean himself; and who, having been a shepherd or herdsman in the wilderness, had often heard the terrible roaring of the lion, to which he compares his prophecy concerning the judgments of God on nations. Some think reference is had to the earthquake, as Aben Ezra; and which might be attended with thunder and lightning, the voice of God.

Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron. — for three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; Damascus was an ancient city; it was in the times of Abraham, Genesis 15:2. It was the “metropolis” of Syria, Isaiah 7:8;

— because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron; that is, “the inhabitants of the land of Gilead,” as the Targum says; this country lay beyond Jordan, and was inhabited by the Reubenites and Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh; who were used in a very cruel manner, by Hazael king of Syria.

But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. — but I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, the cruel king of Syria, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad, the son of Hazael, so that both would suffer the Lord’s punishment.

I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the scepter from the house of Eden; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir,” saith the Lord. — I will break also the bar of Damascus, shattering the bolt of its gate at the conquest of the city, and cut off the inhabitant from the Plain of Avon, possibly a place near Damascus, or the valley between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon;

— and him that holdeth the scepter from the house of Eden, in the district of Laodicea; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, very likely a district of Assyria, saith the Lord. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser took the city of Damascus and dissolved the Syrian kingdom.

Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they carried away captive the whole captivity to deliver them up to Edom. — thus saith the Lord, For three transgressions of Gaza, the leading city-state of Philistia, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, rather. He would not reverse His intention of punishing this city, because they carried away captive the whole captivity, all the prisoners who had been in a certain campaign, very likely that mentioned II Chronicles 21:16, to deliver them. up to Edom, the archenemy of Israel, who would be sure to treat the captive Israelites with the highest degree of cruelty.

But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof.

And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the scepter from Ashkelon; and I will turn Mine hand against Ekron, and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,” saith the Lord God. — and I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, to make the city desolate, and him that holdeth the scepter from Ashkelon, the ruler of this city-state with his people, 

— and I will turn Mine hand against Ekron, so that four of the five city-states are expressly mentioned, the fifth, which bore the name Gath, being omitted because it was not essential to name them all; and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord God, the prophecy finding its fulfillment in the repeated conquest of Philistia by the great world-powers, so that it did not retain its existence for any length of time.

Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant. — thus saith the Lord, the individual announcements coming with a special reference to the inspired nature of their contents; for three transgressions of Tyre, the great metropolis and seaport of Phoenicia, Cf Isaiah 23, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, refusing to change the punishment which He had decided upon;

— because they delivered up the whole captivity, all the captives obtained from the Philistines or the Syrians as the result of one of their campaigns, to Edom and remembered not the brotherly covenant, both David and Solomon having been allied with Phoenicia by a special treaty.

10 But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre, which shall devour the palaces thereof.”

11 Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because he pursued his brother with the sword, and cast off all pity; and his anger tore perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever. — thus saith the Lord for three transgressions of Edom… Or the Edomites, the posterity of Esau, whose name was Edom, so called from the red pottage he sold his birthright for to his brother Jacob: and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment thereof;

— among these three or four transgressions, not only what follows is included, but their idolatry; for that the Edomites had their idols is certain, though what they were cannot be said; see II Chronicles 25:14; because he did pursue his brother with the sword: not Esau his brother Jacob; for though he purposed in his heart to slay him, which obliged him to flee; and frightened him, upon his return, by meeting him with four hundred men; yet he never pursued him with the sword; but his posterity, the Edomites, not only would not suffer the Israelites their brethren to pass by their borders, but came out against them with a large army, Numbers 20:18; and in the times of Ahaz they came against Judah with the sword and smote them and carried away captives, II Chronicles 28:17; and were at the taking and destruction of Jerusalem and assisted and encouraged in it, Psalms 137:7; though to these latter instances the prophet could have no respect, because they were after his time:

— and did cast off all pity; bowels of compassion, natural affection, such as ought to be between brethren, even all humanity: or “corrupted” or “destroyed all pity” showed none, but extinguished all sparks of it as their behaviour to the Israelites showed when upon their borders in the wilderness:

— and his anger did tear perpetually; it was deeply rooted in them; it began in their first father Esau on account of the blessing and birthright Jacob got from him and it descended from father to son in all generations and was vented in a most cruel manner like the ravening of a lion or any other beast of prey:

— and kept his wrath for ever; reserved it in their breasts till they had an opportunity of showing it as Esau their father proposed to do, Genesis 27:41 “And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then will I slay my brother Jacob.””

12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.” — but I will send a fire upon Teman… a principal city of Edom or Idumea, so called from Teman a grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:11; there was in his time a village called Theman, five miles distant from the city Petra, and had a Roman garrison; in Arabia Petraea; it is put for the whole country; it signifies the south. So the Targum renders it, “a fire in the south.”

13 Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border. — thus saith the Lord, For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, the ancient enemies of Israel, who lived northeast of the Dead Sea, on the edge of the Arabian Desert, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, not reverse His intention of punishing them severely, 

— because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, in the unspeakably cruel manner employed in many instances in those days, that they might enlarge their border, taking possession once more of the territory gained by the tribes of Israel east of Jordan, Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh.

14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind. — but I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, the capital of their country, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle as soon as the enemies would enter the city with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind for the enemies would come in a tumultuous assault and carry all before them.

15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together,” saith the Lord. — and their king shall go into captivity… not only the common people that are left of the sword shall be carried captive, but their king also. This was, Baalis their last king, who was accessory to the murder of Gedaliah, Jeremiah 40:14; whom the king of Babylon had set over the remnant of the Jews left in Judea; which might provoke him to send Nebuzaradan his general against him, who put his country to fire and sword, destroyed his chief city Rabbah, and carried him and his nobles into captivity.

Amos 2

1 Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime. — thus saith the Lord, for three transgressions of Moab… Or the Moabites, who descended from the eldest son of Lot, by one of his daughters; and, though related, were great enemies to the Israelites; they sent for Balaam to curse them when on their borders, and greatly oppressed them in the times of the judges:

— and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; idolatry, as well as other sins charged, must be one of these four transgressions: the idols of Moab were Chemosh and Baalpeor; 

— because he burned the bones of the king of Edom, Esau’s descendant, into lime and by way of contempt, used it to plaster a Moabite palace; the point of violating the corpse; a mark of peculiar hatred and particularly offensive to the common conscience of mankind; this unrestrained hatred didn’t stop with death.

But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. — but I will send a fire upon Moab… either on the whole country, or on some particular city so called, as in all the other prophecies; and there was a city called Moab, now Areopolis; though it may be put for the whole country, into which an enemy should be sent to destroy it, even Nebuchadnezzar:

— and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; and according to the Targum, “and shall consume the palaces of the fortified place” and so may signify all the cities of Moab, and their palaces: or however may be put for them.

And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him,” saith the Lord. — and I will cut off the judges, all the magistrates, from the midst thereof and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord, so that Moab would cease to exist as a nation. This came to pass at the time of the Babylonian and Chaldean conquests.

Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept His commandments; and their lies caused them to err, after which their fathers have walked. — because they have despised the law of the Lord; a law so holy, just and good, and so righteous, as no other nation had; and yet was not only not observed, but contemned: other nations sinned against the light of nature, and are not charged with breaches of the law of God, which was not given them; but these people had it, yet lightly esteemed it; counted it as a strange thing; walked not according to it, but cast it away from them; which was a great affront to the sovereignty of God, and a trampling upon his legislative power and authority:

— and have not kept his commandments; or “statutes” the ordinances and the law, which he appointed them to observe for the honour of his name, as parts of their worship;

— and their lies caused them to err, their idols leading them into every kind of foolishness and sin, after their fathers have walked, for idolatry had been practiced in the country almost continually, secretly hiding around their walls and doors, and not openly.

But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.” — but I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem… the military judgements here prophesied with reference to Judah and Jerusalem were fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar: the royal city, where stood the temple, the palace of the most High, and the palaces of the king and his nobles; these were burnt with fire when it was taken by the Chaldean army, about two hundred years after this prophecy; and finally a second time in the destruction by Vespasian and Titus in AD 70.

Thus saith the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they sold the righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of shoes. — thus saith the Lord, for three transgressions of Israel… the ten tribes rent from the house of David in the times of Rehoboam and who departed from the true worship of God to set up calves at Dan and Bethel; but now under under the reign of Jeroboam the Second, against which the prophet Amos was chiefly sent:

— and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; the following part of this prophecy is taken up in pointing at the sins and punishment of Israel, who is headed by their topdog, Ephraim; now the prophet has come to the main commission he was sent to, committed in writing and because this book of Amos is prophetic, its reference of Israel is actually referring to Ephraim and who is, in essence, the United States today;

— because they sold the righteous for silver; the sense is, that the judges of Israel were so corrupt, that for a piece of money they would give a cause against a righteous man, and in favour of an unjust man that bribed them:

— and the poor for a pair of shoes; that is, for a mere trifle they would pervert justice; if two men came before them with a cause, and both poor; yet if one could but give a pair of shoes, or anything he could part with, though he could not give money; so mean and sordid were they, they would take it, and give the cause for him, however unjust it was.

They pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek; and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid to profane My holy name. — that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, by oppressing the poor so severely that the latter, in their misery, show their grief by placing dust on their heads. Job 2:12, and turn aside the way of the meek, by placing obstacles in their way, thereby causing them to stumble and fall; and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, in an excess of shameless lechery, which was regarded as being on a level with incest, to profane My holy name, for such sins brought disgrace upon the name of the God who had chosen Israel as His people.

And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid in pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god. — and they lay themselves down upon clothes, the upper garment of the poor, laid to pledge by every altar, although the Law required that such pledges be returned in the evening, because the garments also served as covers by night, and they drink the wine of the condemned, such as was purchased with money gotten from the poor by oppression in the house of their god being brazen enough to do this in the very Sanctuary, in places which, after all, were originally intended as altars consecrated to Yehovah.

“Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath. — yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, when Joshua overthrew them in battle. Numbers 21:24Deuteronomy 2:31, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks, a powerful people; yet I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath, the picture of a mighty tree being retained to make the fact of his annihilation more vivid.

10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness to possess the land of the Amorite. — also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, by the deliverance to which the prophets point time and again, Exodus 12:51, and led you forty years through the wilderness to possess the land of the Amorite, for so the entire land of Canaan might fitly be called, as having been in the possession of this nation before the Hittite invasion.

11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel?” saith the Lord. — and I raised up of your sons for prophets… such as Moses, Joshua, and the seventy elders and others; not only to foretell things to come but to teach and instruct the people in the doctrines and duties of religion and to warn them of their sins;

— and of your young men for Nazarites: as Samson, Samuel, and others; whose vow not only obliged them from shaving their hair, but to abstain from drinking wine, and eating grapes, which the youthful age is inclined unto; but such grace was given them, as enabled them to deny themselves sensual gratifications, and to be examples of piety and constant attendance on the service of God, and instructing the people. The Targum is, “of your young men for teachers” – these were the spiritual mercies, as the former were the temporal ones, the Lord bestowed on these people, for the truth of which he appeals to them:

— is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord? can ye deny it? – the thing was too notorious to be contradicted.

12 “But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, ‘Prophesy not.’ — but ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink… contrary to their vow and calling, and in contempt of it, and to make them like themselves; they either persuaded them, or forced them to it:

— and commanded the prophets, saying, prophesy not; hard and heavy things, judgments and denunciations of vengeance, only smooth things; by this authoritative language it appears that this is said of the rulers and governors of the people, as king, princes, and priests; see Amos 7:12.

13 “Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves. — behold, I am pressed under you, rather, “Behold, I will press you down,”

— as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves, as a cart loaded with sheaves presses down the ground beneath; the Lord signifies he would afflict and distress this people, bring them into strait circumstances, by a close siege, and other judgements, not to ruin nor destroy them, but to straiten them;

— so the Targum says, “behold, I bring distress upon you, and it shall straiten you in your place, as a cart is straitened which is loaded with sheaves.”

— the Targum is another source of the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us from the verses quoted.

14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself. — therefore the flight shall perish from the swift… they should be so straitened and cooped up and be so loaded with pressures that those as swift of foot as Asahel should not be able to make their escape by fleeing;

— and the strong shall not strengthen his force; should not increase it or muster it up and exert it to such a degree as to be able to defend and secure himself from the enemy:

— neither shall the mighty deliver himself; “his soul” or “life” a soldier, a man of war, an expert and courageous officer at the head of his troop or even the general of the army.

15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow, and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself; neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself. — neither shall he stand that handleth the bow… that is, at some distance, and can make use of his instruments of war afar off; yet will not think it safe to stand his ground, but will betake himself to his heels as fast as he can to save himself:

— and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself; this is repeated, lest any should place confidence in their agility, and to show how complete and inevitable the affliction will be:

— neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself; by fleeing on horseback, no more than he that is on foot; no ways that can be devised or thought on would preserve from this general calamity.

16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day,” saith the Lord. — and he that is courageous among the mighty… Or “strong in his heart” one that is of a great heart, famous for courage and bravery, that excels in it among the mighty; the most valiant soldiers and officers:

— shall flee away naked in that day: shall throw away his armour, nay, put off his clothes, as being both a hindrance to him in his flight; and that he may make the better speed; this is talking about the United States, the most mighty nation of the earth today, it flees Afghanistan like one who is naked!

— saith the Lord: which is added to show the certainty of all this; it might be depended upon that so it would be, since the Lord God of truth had spoken it; and it is timeless, fulfilled today as it was about eighty years after this prophecy was written.

~ by Joel Huan on December 1, 2021.

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